aquariumdrunkard

Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can now be heard twice, every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 477: JJean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Kevin Morby – Wild Side (Oh The Places You’ll Go) ++ B.F. Trike – Be Free ++ Dinosaurs – Sinister Purpose ++ Flaming Groovies – Golden Clouds ++ The Ramones – Oh Oh I Love Her So ++ The Nerves – Stand Back And Take A Good Look (Demo) ++ Chris Spedding – Bored Bored ++ The Lovin’ – I’m In Command ++ Giant Jelly Bean Copout – Awake In A Dream ++ Velvet Underground – I Found A Reason (Demo) ++ Mahmoud Ahmed – Wogenie ++ Agincourt – Mirabella ++ Trap Door – £™ ++ Human Expression – Calm Me Down ++ J.J. Cale – In Our Time ++ West Coast Consortium – Listen To The Man ++ Wimple Winch – The Last Hooray ++ The Squires w/ Neil Young – I’ll Love You Forever ++ Erasmos Carlos – Grilos ++ Lazy Smoke – There Was A Time ++ Bob Lind – Cool Summer ++ Nico Gomez And His Afro Percussion, Inc. – El Condor Pasa ++ Ted Lucas – Now That I Know ++ The Troggs – Push It Up To Me ++ The Flying Burrito Brothers – Tried So Hard ++ The Equals – Can’t Find A Girl To Love Me ++ The Dovers – About Me ++ The Blue Rondos – Little Baby ++ The Allah Las – Come On (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ The Allah Las – I Cannot Lie (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ The Allah Las – Lady Rachel (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Margo Guryan – Sunday Morning ++ Neil Diamond – Someday Baby ++ Brinsley Schwartz – Hymn To Me ++ Creation – How Does It Feel To Feel ++ Jonathan Halper – Leaving My Old Life Behind ++ Blue Things – High Life ++ Chico Buarque – Funeral De Um Lavrador ++ Arzachel – Queen St Gang ++ Savages – I Believe ++ Druids Of Stonehenge – Speed ++ Flamin Groovies – Shake Some Action ++ Kim Jung Mi – Oh Heart ++ Misunderstood – I Can Take You To The Sun

*Listen for free, online, with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
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kika

Over the past three and a half years, the young, hairy Japanese psychedelic outfit Kikagaku Moyo has quietly amassed a devout cult following via legendary performances across the United States, UK, Europe, and Australia. Not to mention a steady drip of outstanding and brain-bending releases, including Kikagaku Moyo, Mammatus Clouds, and Forest of Lost Children. The first few came on Greek, British and American labels, and since on the band’s own imprint, Guruguru Brain, supported by a legion of “old psych head” fans in faraway places like Serbia and Israel that regularly buy out the label’s vinyl pressings within weeks. Kikagaku Moyo’s self-released 2016 LP, House in the Tall Grass, was one of the most lucid highlights of last year, even if it was more or less unsung. This publication did call it a “flawless and captivating record.” That is not at all an overstatement.

The group now has an excellent new EP, Stone Garden, out tomorrow. It was recorded over two days last year in Prague. The sessions were cut up and spliced together to make five tracks, which proceed from beginning to end with an undulating sense of urgency. “Backlash” and “Trilobites” make frenetic, experimental movements, while “Nobakitani” refines the sprawling meditations of Mammatus Clouds into an elegant and leisurely 8-minute daydream. Both “In A Coil” and “Floating Leaf” harness a murky, propulsive groove, as if “Green Sugar” from House in A Tall Grass was poured into a flooded creek bed atop Mt. Fuji and left to run down the mountain. During our recent conversation at Chatei Hatou in Shibuya, drummer Go Kurosawa mentioned that he wanted to draw on the band’s earliest experiences, when they “only had energy.” Stone Garden is certainly energetic. It’s also invigorating; a descriptor that you look for in psychedelic music. Especially when you need a bite of something to keep the trip flowing in the right direction.

Stream Stone Garden below and read on to learn more about the genesis of Kikagaku Moyo, their struggles developing as an up-and-coming live act in Japan, and the other bands on their label, Guruguru Brain, that are poised for a similar breakout. words / j steele

Aquarium Drunkard: How did y’all start?

Kikagaku Moyo: I met Tomo, the guitarist. He was living in the US studying film. He got back and we met up and said, “Ok. Let’s [start a] band.” Two people. I wanted to play drums, but I had never played before. Tomo played guitar, he said. But he couldn’t really play. [Laughs] So we used an old studio almost every night, from midnight until the morning. Our friend was working there, so we could use it for free. We would play a loop and try to jam. And soon after we saw, “Oh, we cannot do anything.” We were only a two piece so what could we do? Either garage, like garage rock, or psychedelic, which can be kind of stupid.

And then we tried to find people. But we wanted to find people who didn’t have experience. And like, don’t know how to play, but just want to play music together. We put many signs everywhere and went to college and made a psychedelic poster and gave it to people. Tomo actually got in trouble at college because he put it everywhere. “You cannot do that. What’s this psychedelic poster everywhere?!” [Laughs] And then we found our bassist one day. He was recording vending machine sounds with a recorder for his drone project. We talked to him, “What are you doing? Let’s play music.” “Oh, okay.” The other guitarist. He was working in the same college that Tomo went to. He looked really weird. Huge beard. Long hair. Rolling cigarette…”Do you play?” “Yeah, yea, yeah.” “Do you want to play in a band?” “Yeah, okay.” We didn’t know anything. Then my brother plays sitar. He was in India and came back. So all of us played music and that’s how we started.

Gig wise it’s difficult because we have totally different system. We have to pay to play. Usually $300 for a 30-35 minute set. We did that a few times. “This is not going anywhere.” So we decided to go abroad. We did an Australian tour for two weeks and then it started happening. We got offers from a label and we played Austin Psych Fest / Levitation in 2014.

abstract-vol3

Volume three of Abstract Truths, An Evolving Jazz Compendium. If unfamiliar with the series, please first read here about the its genesis and intention. For this installment our friend, record collector and audio archeologist Eothen Alapatt, of Now Again Records, is behind the boards. Below, Alapatt shares some insight behind his 26 selects and beyond . . .

These are songs that I listen to and think of as jazz, even though many of the artists here aren’t considered jazz musicians by collectors (or perhaps didn’t consider themselves). For instance, that Phil Pearlman tune I find as intriguing and captivating as any long mode jazz tune, and it displays jazz conventions for days – but Pearlman himself considered himself a rock musician, and his music is loved by psychedelic collectors.

A good part – perhaps the majority of my collection – is jazz, and when I record my albums so I can listen to them in my car or whatever, I normally do so in a way that I hope makes for compelling listening. And that to me means finding similarities between what might be considered opposing tracks. In the case of that Pearlman track, I was listening to it next to the Clifford Jordan track, and found that they sat well together.

Download: Abstract Truths: An Evolving Jazz Compendium – Volume Three (zipped folder)

45bb0216-120d-4574-a860-5355e51e12d8

For Kinks guitarist Dave Davies, music isn’t an intellectual pursuit. In Davies’ mind, creation is a purely instinctual action, not a result of the brain so much as the gut.

“When you first start to get into music, you write something and if it feels good, maybe it is good,” Davies says over the phone, reflecting back on the early days of the Kinks, the legendary rock & roll band he formed with his brother Ray in 1964. In the years since those nascent days in Muswell Hill, the Davies brothers have feuded off and on, but Dave’s reputation as a hard rock and punk pioneer has only solidified. His raw guitar sound has inspired countless followers, including Ty Segall and Chris Spedding, who both appeared on his 2013 solo album I Will Be Me.

But Davies’ latest is a more personal, stripped-down affair. Called Open Road, it was recorded with Dave’s son Russ. Though the two have collaborated together for years now, the record marks a shift from electronic experimentation to more traditional singer/songwriter format. AD spoke with Davies about the record, some recent Kinks demos, his attraction to metaphysics, and abiding love of science fiction. Our conversation has been condensed and edited.

Aquarium Drunkard: You’ve collaborated with your son Russ for quite a while now. But Open Road is different than your previous collaborations. How did it work, melding your sensibilities as a songwriter to Russ’ more electronically-focused angle?

Dave Davies: We’ve wanted to do something more in the vein of a rock album…[Russ] was really keen on getting into this new area.

AD: What’s it like writing with your son? As a songwriter, part of your job is to get somewhere very vulnerable and open. Is getting to that space with your son interesting?

Dave Davies: Russ is a very confessional, very sensitive musician, so it was comforting to work within that trust. The two of us working together helped emotionally; I wasn’t so worried about opening up to him, he knows me pretty well. I could trust him with my thoughts and feelings and likewise. There’s a line on “The Path Is Long” that goes, “You and I/We need to trust.” I really hooked into that. Trust is important when you’re working so closely on a project like this, or any creative project. That trust element totally freed us both up to try things out.

AD: There seems to be a theme of “family” running through your work. You founded the Kinks with your brother Ray. And while it’s difficult to pick a favorite Kinks record, most days Muswell Hillbillies is my favorite. On that record you were drawing from the people around you and to some degree, your own family history.

Dave Davies: Ray and I were obviously very influenced by country music, especially in the early days, with Hank Williams, Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt. But the heart of the album, the theme really, is about a family having to move to another part of the city, focusing on tales about different characters in the family and what they did. It’s one of my favorites too, along with Arthur. I like them all for different reasons, they’re very different from each other. That’s been the joy of being in a band like the Kinks. There’s a wealth of ideas me and Ray can draw from, including our childhood, our family.

Megan Sue Hicks

Anthology Recordings is gearing up to shine an in-depth light on a collection of rare psych, rock, and folk nuggets sourced from 70’s Australia. Compiled by countryman Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring) and Anthology’s own Keith Abrahamsson, Follow The Sun drops May 5th and is sure to soundtrack a score of fazed-out summers. Following the premiere of Mata Hari’s blissed garage cut “Easy” comes Megan Sue Hicks’ “Hey, Can You Come Out and Play, ” a slice of loner folk that evokes the likes of Kathy Heidman and Linda Perhacs, tailor made for rolling down some desert highway. Check out the video, with illustrations by Total Control’s James Vinciguerra, below. words / c depasquale

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Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 476: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Trailer Trash Tracys – Candy Girl (demo version) ++ Omni – Wire ++ The Vaselines – Son of A Gun ++ Ty Segall – Caesar ++ Indian Wars – If You Want Me ++ Parquet Courts – Paraphrased ++ Les Olivensteins – Fier De Ne Rien Faire ++ The Bellys – Chow Chow ++ Zig Zags – Wastin’ My Time ++ Wire – After Midnight ++ White Fence – Growing Faith ++ John Cale – Cable Hogue ++ Willie Loco Alexander – Gin ++ Apache Sun – Club Noir ++ Sam Evians – Sleep Easy ++ Mndsgn – Yawn ++ Daniel Patrick Quinn – Channelkirk and Surrounding Area ++ Mariah – Shinzo No Tobira ++ James Pants – Spaces ++ Gary Numan – M.E. ++ The Soft Moon – Total Decay ++ Gary Numan – Metal ++ Deerhunter – Ad Astrad (AD edit) ++ Moodymann – Remember ++ Daughn Gibson – Bad Guys ++ Willis Earl Beal – Flying So Low ++ Cass McCombs – Bum Bum Bum ++ Chris Cohen – Torrey Pine ++ Lightmyth – Across The Universe ++ Lower Dens – I Get Nervous (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Lower Dens – To Die In La (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Lower Dens – Electric Current (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Lower Dens – Quo Vadis (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Lower Dens – Tea Lights (Aquarium Drunkard Session) ++ Amen Dunes – Spirits Are Parted

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
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deadnotesZine2 (1)

How many Deadheads does it take to screw in a light bulb? 1000. One to do it and 999 to tape it.

There was a time when yellow envelopes stuffed to the gills with Maxell XL2s and patchouli-soaked trading lists were the norm. Maybe those packages would lead to being invited to a fellow head’s apartment or dorm room for all-night dub sessions or back room trades at your local head shop. With those tapes came new friendships, show and band recommendations, and stories. Those stories came in both the handed down and first hand varieties — always a little embellished or missing parts, until you heard them again from the same source or another. Tour mayhem, good times (excessive and transcendental), life lessons, our boys (THE DEAD!) and more — no subject was left untouched. Over the decades, tapes turned to CD-Rs, CD-Rs turned to torrents and MP3 downloads. Technology advanced, but the stories? They began to disappear.

Thankfully, when archive.org was founded they started to be collected again in the comments sections. Sure, most people ignored the comments in their frenzy to get another show into their ears, but some of us read intently. 
As is always the case, Deadheads adapted to new technological platforms quickly, utilizing social media the way followers of the band always have: to connect to each other. In late 2014, in a Grateful Dead fan group on Facebook, I came across a note from a guy stating he was looking to find his tape collection a new home. I met Charlie C. in Cape Cod a few weeks later. As we sat at a bar with his wife (who was astonished to meet such a young guy so into the Dead) he regaled me with story after story of shows he saw. I still get goosebumps when I think about him sharing an anecdote about Pigpen sauntering past him at his first show, right before he jumped on stage to deliver one of his nightly sermons. Later, we went out to his car and he handed me over his entire collection of tapes -– hundreds of them, meticulously labeled with unique covers and a story contained within each one. In a separate bag were old issues of Relix, Golden Roads, Dupree’s, and Deadbases, along with a stash of stickers and pins. It was the kindest gift I’ve ever received from a “stranger.”

But of course, Charlie’s no longer a stranger. Now he’s one of my best friends. An email or text from him is bound to be filled with laughs or a list of other things to check out. This ‘zine is dedicated to him. He put me on the crazed path of collecting Dead tapes again for the first time since 2000. All that resulted in our second Dead Notes zine, available for download in its entirety here. There’s more to come: there are still countless pieces of unseen artwork and stories from the Dead community yet to be shared. words/d norsen

Download: Grateful Dead Notes Zine #2

On April 20th at the Bootleg Theatre in Los Angeles we are excited to partner with Liberty Hair Farm to present Grateful Shred who include members of Cass McComb’s band, Neal Casal’s Circles Around the Sun, and local favorites Austin McCutchen and Mapache. We have two tickets for who ever can tell us their best and or favorite Grateful Dead joke. The winner will be contacted on April 19th.